WASHINGTON, March 2, 2015 –The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has today approved $300 million in credit from the highly-concessional International Development Association (IDA)* for the new Dar es Salaam Metropolitan Development Project (DMPD) that will improve services directly for 1.9 million residents and, indirectly, for the city’s overall population of 4.6 million.
Dar es Salaam, whose population growth rate averaged 5.6 percent between 2002 and 2012, is among fastest growing cities in the world. Services have not been able to keep up with the rapid development – leading to sprawl, growth of informal settlements, congestion, flooding, and constraints to the business environment. The IDA credit will improve the key services to address flooding, urban mobility, and basic infrastructure in low-income communities. DMDP will improve the capacity of local governments to better plan and provide services – while focusing on the growing need to adopt a metropolitan approach to addressing the region’s challenges.
“In 15 years Dar es Salaam will be a mega city with a population of over 10 million residents,” said Philippe Dongier, World Bank Tanzania Country Director. “With more than 800,000 new job seekers entering the market every year, many are looking to Dar es Salaam for opportunities. Investments over the next five years are key to help establish the foundations to develop and manage a booming metropolitan area – one that allows enterprises to thrive, that create productive jobs, and that provides an improved quality of life to its residents.” ”
The DMDP, which will be implemented by the Prime Minister’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO-RALG), has three components. The first relates to the development of priority infrastructure and will cover roads, flood control and storm water drainage and enhancement of disaster preparedness. The second component focuses on improvement of basic services for low-income communities as well as enhancing their capacity to undertake important works. Institutional strengthening, which constitutes the third component and which is partly funded by the Nordic Development Fund, aims to develop governance arrangements and systems; local government revenue collection systems; integrated transport and land use planning; operations and maintenance systems and urban planning systems.
“Given the complex challenges that Dar es Salaam faces, this project attempts to respond to both the immediate service provision demands as well as the capacity building requirements for a future megacity,” says Andre Bald, the World Bank’s Senior Urban Specialist who is also the Task Team Leader for DMDP.
While the DMDP focuses on Dar es Salaam, it is only the latest of ongoing urban interventions in which the Government of Tanzania and the World Bank have partnered, covering 29 urban local governments, to improve infrastructure and service delivery against the rapid urbanization that the country is currently undergoing. The others are the Tanzania Strategic Cities Project (TSCP), the Urban Local Government Strengthening Program (UGLSP), the Zanzibar Urban Services Project (ZUSP) and the Second Central Transport Corridor Project (CTCP2).
The World Bank’s recent Country Economic Memorandum for Tanzania (CEM 2014) underscored the importance of improving the competitiveness and efficiency of cities in order to nurture greater agglomeration benefits and create productive jobs for the 800,000 young people who enter the job market every year. Most of these graduates end up in the informal sector to which they are almost permanently consigned, as there are not enough jobs to absorb them in the formal sector. Investing in infrastructure and service gaps in the urban areas is one way of addressing this challenge as it would encourage agglomeration effects while reducing congestion.